“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).
Signs are amazing and powerful. In fact, you could think of signs as a type of “heavenly language,” and much like symbols they often have to be interpreted in order for the spiritual meaning to be seen and understood. Signs, in that sense, are sent as a way to create a paradigm shift (as John Paul Jackson used to teach so well) to see things in a different or new perspective. I think about how my life was before I got saved. Once I gave my heart to the LORD my whole attitude, mind, emotions thought process all shifted to something new. I could still remember the old me, but now I could see the new me in a much different way. I like how author Murray Dueck describes this type of paradigm shift. You can remember the old but you can never “un-see” the new way. Our paradigm has shifted to a new way and no matter what you will always have this change in front of you.
So why would God need to use signs or symbolism to speak to His people?
Do we think that He only uses this method to confuse us or punish us? No! The Lord has used signs and symbolism since the beginning of time. His method and reasons are for our growth and increase of understanding and knowledge. God uses symbolic language for purpose and intent to cause us to dig deeper, move beyond the rationalizing portion of our brain, and search for the message beneath. John Paul Jackson always stated that we will find more in the search than in the final destination. There are no truer words. When you are searching, praying, seeking, interceding, you are pulling yourself closer to God as you seek the answer you need, and in the search you have drawn water from the very well – the well of living water – where you will be satiated and filled with the ever flowing water of LIFE. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever why would we think that He doesn’t speak this way anymore? In fact, you might say that the pen of God is much like that of an active blogger – it is moving, writing, sending out an ongoing commentary and still writing the story until the fullness of the time has come and our Lord returns for His Bride. So Let’s look at some different categories of signs and how it correlates with scripture.
3 Categories of signs in the scriptures
- Signs that cause people to connect the natural and spiritual realms such as special days or memorials like Passover, Yom Kippur, communion, etc.
- Signs that show a confirmation and alignment of the Word of God. Example: Rainbow. God said to Noah in Genesis 9:12-13, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud.” ; The foreshadowing of Jesus as seen through the Passover Lamb. The Jews were told by Moses to kill the perfect lamb and spread it’s blood on the doorposts so that the Death Angel would pass over their homes and not kill their first born son. The sign was to show that the Jews were being saved by the blood of a lamb. To read this now, of course we know what the symbolism of the sign represents. It is a representation of Jesus Christ, the perfect, spotless lamb, and how His blood was shed for you and I so that we could be saved. Even in Biblical times the disciples had a hard time making this connection. You see they had to have a paradigm shift as Jesus expounded on the scriptures and told of the foreshadowing of His coming from the beginning of scripture till then.
- Signs that proclaim a prophetic utterance about what the Lord is going to do on earth. The birth of Jesus through Mary ( a young virgin girl), the star that appeared in the heavens when Christ was born, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts).
Isn’t God Cool!
The more I have looked at the Biblical signs versus the heavenly symbolic language the more in awe I have become. Think about some of the other scriptures where signs were chosen. Have you ever asked yourself why this or that was chosen? I believe that Jesus didn’t do anything at random. Everything He did had purpose and intent. For example: Why did Jesus choose a rooster to crow at Peter’s denial? What does a rooster symbolize in the natural? Pride, cocky, puffed up, etc. The disciples had previously been arguing (before this event) on who would be greater in the kingdom. They had become almost vain, in a sense, trying to dominate and be the greatest. So, when Peter begins to say that he would never deny Jesus, it became the perfect opportunity for Jesus to not only show through a powerful, connecting sign, but to let Peter see his own character flaws. Peter didn’t get the gist of what this sign meant until the rooster crowed after Peter’s denial of three times. (Matt. 26:34). Verse 75 says, “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” So that he went out and bitterly wept.” The sign came to pass, but Peter did not understand in the moment what the sign really meant. It wasn’t until he saw the results with his own eyes that the new paradigm shift took place, and he wept bitterly for his new understanding showed him exactly what the rooster really stood for. Many times, we are just like Peter because it is hard to see the story in its entirety. We can look at Biblical examples and see the connection because we know the story in its entirety, and we have seen the end result; however, in our own lives we may see the signs, have dreams full of symbols, but it is hard to see the fullness of what the Lord is trying to say. We don’t have hindsight to guide us, but we are merely given our “in the moment” point of view, and this hinders our full perception. I have had dreams in the past that I felt like I knew what the underlying message was, but it wasn’t until it came to pass, and I saw the truth in its entirety that I finally understood what it really meant.
How Does This Apply Today?
In other words, we can interpret dreams, symbols, and signs and get a grasp on what we feel like the message is, but it is the waiting, praying, interceding that will bring about the full answer. We must keep our spiritual eyes and ears open and shift our paradigm to see deeper into His way, His revelation, His heart. Our own perspective is so limited, and His is deep and abiding and full of mystery. Have you ever seen signs in your own life that you have fully understood or are still looking to understand? A friend of mine once saw a very rare occurrence of an eagle flying over her home. She knew that the sign meant something (because eagles are rare in her area). It wasn’t until much prayer and then the exposure and subsequent freedom of her son from addiction that she began to see the fullness of the meaning. The LORD showed her the eagle as a means of saying I am here. I will bear you up. I will heal your land. I will set you and your descendants free. Did this happen over night? No. In fact, it took place over a lengthy period of time, but in the end the sign spoke truth and life and all of their lives were changed. A complete paradigm shift happened all around them and in them. Newness of life is an amazing thing. What about you, have you seen something that you have felt was a sign of something changing or shifting? Share with us a sign or symbol from a dream that has occurred to you even if you didn’t fully understand it. I pray you keep your eyes open to any and all revelation. May God give you increase in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding in Him. Be blessed and keep dreaming.
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